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Published in Foreign Policy: 

(Please click headlines to read the stories)

  • Bin Laden Aftermath: In Pakistan Many Questions and Few Answers  
    • Excerpt: In the off chance that the ISI did not play a part in locating bin Laden in Abbottabad, but had some intelligence on him, what would the Pakistani military establishment gain from harboring a man like Osama bin Laden? Is he a “strategic asset” the way the Haqqani network or the Quetta Shura is believed to be? No.
  • Origins of Karachi’s Wars 
    • Excerpt: The political violence in the city always dies down, but it is never because a political solution has been achieved. It dies down because pitched battles in the streets are not sustainable, not because political parties have laid down their arms. It only comes to a halt when the parties reach the threshold where their own communities start to question their credibility. The resilient — yet, at times, resigned — residents on the streets and in police stations cynically say, “martial law is the best revenge.”  It is tragically ironic that there is already martial law in Karachi; it’s just not the army that is in charge of it.
  • Karachi’s Deeper Problems
    • Excerpt: The quickest solution to the cycle of violence in Karachi would be for the populace to wake up to the fact that their political parties do not represent their ethnicity or their interests. The public needs to resist political parties and gangs trying to hijack their communities to commit crimes under their names. Malcolm X once said, “It’s the ballot or the bullet.” In Karachi the ballots are backed by bullets, and the voters end up in body bags.

Published in The Caravan:

  • Karachi’s Turf Wars
    • Excerpt: This is a familiar story for those in Karachi who have survived the violence in the 1990s and over the past few years. Turf wars between political parties are settled on the backs of a population taken hostage by heavily armed paramilitary forces. The privileged and the powerful are largely insulated from the violence. Body counts are merely numbers, not faces, as journalists along with the public get increasingly desensitised to the frequency of violence in the city. No one side can be absolved from guilt in these skirmishes, and the ill-equipped politicised police force is too scant to make an impact, even if they were reformed. Land is priceless in this growing metropolis, but lives have become increasingly worthless.

TV Report Featured in New York Times – Pakistan’s Largest City Shuts Down After Politician’s Murder 

Cited in Academic PaperThe Militant Economy of Karachi 

Selected Clips from The Express Tribune:

Full archive of work at The Express Tribune can be found here

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